How to Protect Your Network Infrastructure and Apps from DDoS Attacks?
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is one of the most common security attacks that happen to mobile apps. While this type of attack often renders network apps ineffective and non-responsive, we can prevent them from happening by simply taking some proactive measures.
Let us define and explain the DDoS attacks before explaining the ways to combat such attacks.
What is DDoS Attack?
As we all know, DDoS refers to Distributed Denial of Service. It is a critical cyber-attack causing disruption to the network service and connectivity. The attack is carried out by multiplying the malware infection across a lot of computers just for the sake of targeting a single system. The computer from which such an attack is started is called botmaster.
Over the past several years, there has been a considerable increase in the DDoS attacks, and several leading apps have been victims of such attacks. An attack of this type can cost millions of dollars within a span of a few hours. Hence, we need to take DDoS attacks seriously and try to approach it with effective precautionary and preventive measures.
Various Types of DDoS Attacks
Though the basic mechanism and the attack trajectory remains the same, DDoS attacks can be of different types. Let us briefly explain various types of DDoS attacks and how to combat each one of them.
This is the most common DDoS attack which takes place by overwhelming the entire network bandwidth if the target computer with a flood of false data requests across all data ports. Thus prevents the machine from accepting the actual traffic, and thus the system stops responding to all queries.
Basically, two types of protocols are used for carrying out such attacks. These two protocols are UDP and ICMP. UDP refers to the User Datagram Protocol that makes straightforward data transmission without integrity. Because of the fast-paced data transmission capability, UDP format is preferred by attackers more.
ICMP refers to Internet Control Message Protocol, which is used for facilitating communication among multiple devices. When the attack uses thus protocol, nodes are attacked and are made to send false error messages to the targeted computer. The machine by keeping itself buy with such requests, cannot accept the new and original request.
Attacks for App Layer
The app layer is the surface layer of a network. By staying in front of the user interaction, this layer is attacked mainly for maneuvering the web traffic. Some of the most common avenues for such attacks include HTTP, HTTPS, DNS, or SMTP.
Since this type of attack generally uses a very less number of machines, detecting them becomes very hard. This is why, often with an application layer attack, the server starts considering the problem related to increased traffic volume.
The protocol attack basically tries to damage the tables for verifying connections located within network areas. This attack results in slower pings, mal-informed attack partial packets. The attack can create a false memory room in the target machine and crash the system by overloading it. Enthusiastic hackers now use a mix and match of these three types of attacks to attack a target computer from all sides.
How to Combat DDoS Attacks?
We all know how DDoS attacks can have lethal consequences on network systems. This is why it is essential to know the various time-honored measures to thwart DDoS attacks. Here we explain a few of these measures and tips.
Incorporate Infrastructure Redundancy
The best solution is to make it harder for the attacker to launch an attack on the system. Before the requests overwhelm your system and chokes, it spread those requests across multiple data centers with a powerful load balancing system. If the data centers are located at different locations, the job of the attacker further gets tougher.
There are other preconditions for this defense mechanism to be successful against DDoS attacks. The data centers must be connected to different networks, and there should be no single failure points for the networks. Lastly, the location of servers across multiple locations further makes the job tougher.
Do New Configuration for Network Hardware
A few simple tweaks in hardware configuration can help you combat the DDoS attack quite simply. For example, you can configure a firewall or router to cleanse the ICMP request packets. Such configuration changes can actually prevent ping based volume-centric attacks.
Defense to DDoS with Architecture
It is recommended that the network architecture takes multi-tier protection to defend DDoS attacks. Let's explain the two defense layers.
Defending Network Layer
This defense will be created for only the network layer. This defense layer will be able to detect malicious botnet IPs, poor IP sources, bad IP reputation, and suspicious geolocation. This will also be able to filter based on the reputation by utilizing threat intelligence. Many types of attacks can be stopped at this defense layer, including TCPfloods, ICMP floods, SYN floods, etc.
Defending Application Layer
Thus defensive mechanisms will focus on the uppermost layer of n application. The objective of this defense is to carry out checks with intelligence corresponding to app logic. For inspecting the encrypted content offloading SSL can also be needed. This defense works by detecting the regularities in the app traffic.
DDoS attacks have become more common than ever before. But, if you stay alert and prepared with the above measures, it is very unlikely that such an attack can ruin your network.
About the Author
Nathan McKinley is Business Development Manager at Cerdonis Technologies LLC - mobile app development company helps you, from the first look of your mobile/web and software application to the product launch of it, with 6+ years of experience. He is in the tech market for 6 years, where he learnt technology vulnerable prospects, and now he shares all of those experiences through his writing skills as a core expert in it.